PORT KLANG, Feb 21 — An international syndicate behind the cannibalisation and exporting of stolen lorry components were crippled by police following the arrest of five men over the last month.
With the use of frequency jammers, syndicate members intercepted lorry alarm systems, leaving the vehicles unlocked before stealing and driving them off.
The suspects would bring the vehicles to their warehouse in Klang, where it would be taken apart, and engine numbers would scratched off.
Selangor police chief Commissioner Datuk Mazlan Mansor said the components would then be moved into freight containers and delivered to predetermined destinations in the Middle-East.
“Last year the syndicate sent out four container-loads of the stolen components to two ports in Pakistan and two more in Egypt, amounting RM12million.
“We believe the containers, each able to transport up to 30 lorry engines, left Port Klang and arrived in Port Said, Egypt via Singapore, before being distributed,” he said.
Mazlan said the syndicate, in operation since 2015, had their cover blown when police acting upon a tip-off, arrested the suspects in a series of raids in Klang.
On Jan 23, two syndicate members, a local and a Bangladeshi, were caught red-handed while taking apart components in their warehouse in Klang.
Following investigations, police were led to the arrest of an Egyptian and another local man two days later.
“We believe the Egyptian was the middle-man and negotiator for the sale of the stolen components when it arrived in the Middle East, while the local is said to be a driver responsible for transporting the stolen goods,” he said.
Mazlan said a fifth syndicate member was arrested Feb 13, bring the total number of suspects to five, all aged 33 to 44.
He said during iinvestigations, police caught wind of a container belonging to the suspects that docked in Singapore on Feb 3.
“The container, said to contain second-hand vehicle parts, was loaded with at least 13 engines and other cannibalised parts worth around RM 2 million,” he said.
Mazlan said with the help of the Singapore Police Force and the International Criminal Police Organisation(Interpol), the container was seized and brought back to local shores.
Among the seized engines were 49 lorry front absorbers, 22 doors, 14 dashboard mountings, 13 front axle beams, 14 steering wheels, eight fuel tanks, several drive shafts and a catalogue of other loose components.
Mazlan said police have since managed to trace five reports of stolen lorries to the seized components, with four cases in Selangor and one in Negri Sembilan.
“We believe there could be more lorries that were cannibalised and sent overseas, as are tracking down at least seven more syndicate members at large,” he said.
He said the case is being investigated under Section 413 of the Penal Code for habitually dealing in stolen property.